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Minor amendment may get two more GOP Senate votes in Washington

Timothy Kincaid

February 1st, 2012

Josh Feit at PubliCola is reporting that two more Washington State Republican Senators may vote for marriage equality tonight if they can amend the proposed bill slightly.

Sens. Fain and Hill will vote for the marriage bill if a couple of friendly amendments are passed to clarify that clergy and religious institutions do not have to recognize gay marriage for things such as premarital counsel.

I have no problem with that. They already can refuse the perform the service, not allow their sanctuary, or meeting hall. I can’t see any problem with saying, “Okay, Rev. Joe, you don’t have to give gay couples premarital counseling if its against your religion.” I can’t imagine why anyone would want premarital counseling from someone who is going to counsel you not to marry.

UPDATE: Fain Both Fain and Hill joined Republican Senators Litzow and Pflug and 25 24 Democrats to pass this bill with a healthy bipartisan majority of 28 -21.

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PC
February 1st, 2012 | LINK

According to local news, the bill goes to the Senate floor at 6pm local time. It’s expected to be debated for a few hours, given the numerous proposed amendments.

andrew
February 1st, 2012 | LINK

I think it’s fine for any religion to refuse to recognize the marriages except as legally binding contracts or previously existing relationships – that is, they can’t marry someone who’s already married (and hasn’t gotten a divorce) because they don’t perceive the first marriage to be legitimate… and then claim the state is discriminating against them for failing to recognize the second marriage. I mean, it could get very Henry VIII (minus the beheadings) if allowed to wade too far into the weeds. Also, with respect to how they handle kids. For example, they can’t refuse to call a same-sex parent of a student at a Catholic school to come and pick them up, or to authorize medical care, and they also can’t bar students because of the relationships of their parents (it has nothing to do with the student, and thereby violates the rights of the child).

That’s where I’d go with that, but not make too much of it… no point finding so many exceptions and unlikely problems that it gives everyone cold feet because of “what if”s. I honestly think most of this will work out just fine in the end.

Timothy Kincaid
February 1st, 2012 | LINK

andrew, good points re the remarriage but I think that the marriage licensing process would handle that. As for kids at catholic school, I suspect that few will be hardline about it if for no other reason than that refusing to recognize a parent is as much a headache for the school as the parent. I tend to agree: maybe we can’t get perfect but we can get now. I’ll take now.

occono
February 1st, 2012 | LINK

What’s the context here….does the state license churches to run premarital counselling programs? Or is it just worries over being asked to and violating nondiscrimination laws?

TampaZeke
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, you know and I know that we NEVER had 25 Democrats. We only had 23 committed. That’s why we were so hard pressed to round up a couple of Republican’s to support support the bill. The way you crossed out 25 and replaced with 24 makes it look as if one of the Democrats who promised support reneged when in fact we picked up one ADDITIONAL Democrat’s support when the vote was taken.

Timothy Kincaid
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Zeke,

The first report I saw only showed three republicans so I had to correct it later. See where Fain is crossed out and both him and Hill added?

Geez, I’m not dissing your beloved party.

TampaZeke
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

You’re nothing if not clever and consistent Timothy. Another one of your pissy, defensive responses without actually addressing what I pointed out in my comment.

Don’t worry, I’ll stay out of your sandbox so that you can play undisturbed.

Don’t bother responding; I won’t.

Timothy Kincaid
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Zeke

You aren’t making sense. The vote was 28-21 and I first heard of 3 republicans who voted affirmatively. Simple math says that 25 Dems made up the rest. Then a later report said four so I corrected the commentary.

When revising in a blog, unless it’s just a matter of minutes, protocol is to strike the earlier words and amend but leave up the striked language.

Somehow you see this as some insult. You are mistaken.

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